OBJECTIVE: To investigate possible associations between tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption and the risk of adult glioma. DESIGN: This was a population based, case-control study. Relative risks (RR) were estimated using logistic regression analysis. SETTING: Melbourne, Australia. PARTICIPANTS: These comprised 416 case subjects (166 women, 250 men), 66% of those eligible; and 422 control subjects (170 women, 252 men), 43.5% of those potentially eligible. RESULTS: There was no increase in risk of glioma with having ever smoked tobacco (RR 1.29, 95% CI 0.95, 1.75) for all subjects, adjusted for age, a reference date, and gender. There was a slight increase in risk for men (RR 1.64, 95% CI 1.1, 2.45), but not for women (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.62, 1.62). For men, there was no increase in risk with increasing pack-years of cigarette smoking, but the risk was significantly increased in subjects who had smoked for less than 10 years. There was no increase in risk associated with having ever drunk alcohol for all subjects (RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.67, 1.37), women (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.4, 1.15) or men (RR 1.40, 95% CI 0.81, 2.43). CONCLUSIONS: This study does not support an association between either tobacco smoking or alcohol consumption and glioma. The pattern of risk associated with tobacco smoking in men appears inconsistent with a causal role, and may be due to chance, response bias, or uncontrolled confounding.
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